First, have you swung by kaitlyn's yet to check out her incredibly accessible and incredibly genius online art e-course?? You should - and not just because I am one of the contributors, but because it's sort of amazing.
Two, someone incredible is coming to dinner with something absolutely delightful... sneak peak:
What could it be..... What. Could. It. Be.???
Third (okay, I can't count), I was browsing some of my old entries the other day and realized I never got you the tomato sauce I promised to top the Polpette (incredible Italian balls... of meat). This is in no way your Italian great grandmother's recipe - a proper tomato sauce should cook all day long and be made with fresh roma tomatoes, etc... But for those of us who don't have the entire day to simmer and stock the pot, here's an extremely easy and extremely delicious tomato sauce that no one's gonna frown at!
Saucy Tomato Sauce
2 28oz Cans of Plum Tomatoes with Juice, roughly chopped.
2 Tbsp Tomato Paste.
1 Carrot, thinly sliced.
1 Large Stalk Celery, thinly sliced.
1 Spanish Onion, diced.
5 Cloves Garlic, finely chopped.
Handful of Fresh Italian Herbs (i.e. Parsley, Basil), roughly chopped and torn.
1 Bay Leaf.
1 Tbsp Smoked Paprika.
1 Tbsp Cayenne Pepper.
1/2 C Dry White Wine.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Kosher Salt & Fresh Cracked Pepper.
1 C Frozen Peas (optional).
What to Do:
Heat a large saucepan over medium heat with a couple Tbsp of olive oil. Once hot, toss in the carrot, celery and onion. Stir well. Warm for about 2 or 3 minutes and then mix in the garlic.
Let cook through about 5-7 minutes or until little brown marks start to appear on things (caramelization). Deglaze with the white wine, making sure to get all the stuck on bits up and off the bottom of the pot. Reduce for 2 minutes.
Add the bay leaf and massage in the tomato paste.
Now, dump in the tomatoes and their juice, paprika, cayenne pepper, a good helping of salt and pepper, and the fresh herbs. Stir well.
Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 30 minutes (45 if not baking in the oven like I did here) to infuse the flavors and to allow some of the water to cook out of the tomatoes.
If desired, remove from the heat and carefully pour into a food processor, pulsing a few times to puree the carrot, etc...
Stir in the peas if using.
Eat (or freeze for future use).